The Evil That Men Do: a case against our malevolent ‘human nature’

The societies of our times are experiencing many changes, most of which have the habit of perpetuating the ills of previous times. This has created a sense of pessimism, opting to believe that change is impossible, if not unnatural. A cynical view that states that things are as they should be, since human behavior is determined by our genes, our ‘selfish genes’ as some would say and thus any effort against them is an effort against nature, against evolution itself. It so happens, that most of the proponents of this cynical view, are members of the ruling class or sponsored by it, but this is too easy an argument against its validity. What their deterministic view suggests is that the inequality and injustice of our times have always existed in one form or another, they are innate characteristics of a universal human nature which sees egotism, self-interest and ruthless competition as the guidelines of our evolution as a species and as self-evident arguments of their status in the current world order. We rule because we are the fittest to rule, hence our place is a ‘natural’ progression of human evolution, of human behavioral patterns that award the powerful and punish the weak.

The political ideology of freedom and equality that legitimized the overthrow of the aristocracy helped to produce a society in which the idea of equality is still as subversive as ever, if taken seriously. If the society in which we live is to become just, both to the possessors and to the dispossessed, we need an understanding in which the reality of social life and social order would become identical to the morality that celebrates these ideas. It is precisely the need to avoid doing so, that exposes the powerful in their efforts to self-justify their place with an ideology that embraces stasis with absolute resolve against any societal change. By redirecting attention from the structure of society to the structure of nature of individuals, the ruling elite has used the ideology of equality against itself, for according to their ‘liberal’ views, everyone can succeed, so long as one works hard and perseveres. If one fails, it is not a consequence of societal unfairness, but rather, an inherent weakness of will or character. Hence, inequality is the natural outcome of the majority’s inability to rise above their circumstances and therefore it is impossible to create a system that would equate the weak with the powerful since any such effort would only corrode the foundations of society that humanity has struggled so hard to build.

Ruling classes have throughout our history tried many times to cement their societal status quo with scientific determinism. Belgian colonists in Rwanda sponsored Tutsi rule over the Hutus while esteemed Belgian scientists were doing experiments trying to prove Hutu’s biological inferiority. Nazis executed homosexuals, the sick and the Jews based on their ‘scientific’ theories of racial purity of the Aryan race and so on and so forth. Women’s ‘inferiority’ to men was also considered ‘natural’ in many ‘civilized’ Western societies until recently. History has seen much blood spilled on the grounds of someone’s ‘natural’ superiority over another and science has often been used as the tool by which the elite exercised its power and justified its violence.

One of the most well known arguments against this scientific determinism is that of ‘naturalistic fallacy’, which draws a clear distinction between what ‘is’ and what ‘ought’ to be. Our biological differences do not by themselves constitute a basis of what is ‘fair’ or ‘right’ within a modern society. It cannot be so, since that would mean that our genes, or even heritage for that matter, for which none of us had any actual choice on, should be the sole conditions to be taken into account for our place in society. How can something so arbitrary, as our parent’s genetic material, for no fault of our own, be considered an absolute condition for who we are, what we can do in this life, how we behave and how we are to be treated by others?

Ideas of justice cannot be derived from the facts of nature, although, since that would mean that we take as a priori that, what is natural is also good, provided one is willing to accept, for example, that the blinding of infants by trachoma is ‘just’ or ‘good’. If ‘human nature’, our genetic code, is left alone to dictate human behavior, and what is considered ‘evil’ in modern societies is regarded as ‘natural’ since its manifestations are part of our ‘selfish genes’, then how can we justify medicine? If a baby is born sick, malformed, we should then by all means kill it or let it live without treatment. What of free will? If we are bound by the ‘defects’ of our genes, how can someone be blamed for committing a crime? Should we imprison people from birth? If inequality and injustice are inherent societal characteristics resulting from our innate unequal nature, and our ‘natural’ propensity is in favor of competition and self-interest, why do we even have laws, courts and organized legal systems? We might as well accept our ‘nature’ and the inevitability of the selfish ‘human nature’ and do nothing to treat the sick, feed the poor or pass laws to protect human rights. Let’s just roll the dice and whomever can climb faster on top of everyone else’s corpse is the winner. Is this really the best that humans can expect after 10.000 years of human civilization? I think not.

The argument of ‘naturalistic fallacy’ leads us consequently to a second argument against the scientific determinism, that of equating ‘innate’ with ‘unchangeable’. If evolution has taught us anything, is that nature is in a constant state of flux. A very slow flux that extends over periods of hundreds of thousands of years, millions of years even. What we consider ‘unchangeable’ in our mere 80 year life, is for nature just a infinitesimal fraction of a single stage in its everlasting evolution. Our ‘unchangeable’, our ‘natural’, is just a snapshot from the trillions of images that make-up human evolution. Even the last 10.000, or 200.000 years is a snapshot in evolutionary terms, considering that the planet exists for the past 4.2 billion years. Homo sapiens exists only for 0.0048% of the planet’s age. We are evolutionary infants. What is innate, doesn’t equate with what is unchangeable, that is nonsensical. Our history is full of examples of the ‘artificial’ overcoming the ‘natural’. Man doesn’t have wings to fly, yet we do fly, routinely every day. Man doesn’t have an immune system to fight off all the viruses and diseases that nature can produce, yet we are still alive. Man doesn’t have the ability to move mountains or connect the seas, yet we have done so. Our whole civilization is based on our ability to overcome our natural shortcomings and shape the environment around us to suit our needs and our desires, albeit, with devastating effects sometimes. Nothing natural is unchangeable. The unchangeable parts of nature are the ones that do not survive the flux of evolution. ‘Fittest’ in evolutionary terms does not mean ‘stronger’, it means ‘adaptive’, and to adapt, one must find the courage, the creativity and the willingness to change and keep on changing.

The theory of evolution brought about a significant element in the understanding of living processes. Time. It was understood, that living organisms are not fixed immemorial, but have a history of progression from earlier, simpler, more primitive forms. If amoeba’s had any kind of consciousness in which to apply the equivalent of naturalistic determinism of ‘amoeban nature’, we would still be swimming in a primordial soup. It is because ‘human nature’ is dynamic, dependent on environmental factors but not constrained to them, that I can write these words and exercise my free will.

A worldview based on reductionism and dualism, heredity vs. environment, is describing a world in stasis, a world whose individual components interact in fixed, limited and predictable ways, a world in which change is possible only along fixed and predefined frameworks. How convenient of a worldview is that for the ones ‘lucky’ enough to inherit a position in society’s wealthier 10%.

Many evolutionary psychologists propose the power of innate biological drives, of our genes, as the sole significant drive of our evolution. Their argument is that women have a primeval urge to hang on to wealthy men to provide for their children during the long period of pregnancy and nurturing, as did their primeval ancestors when selecting the strongest and best hunters as their ideal mates. Men, meanwhile, are mostly concerned about a woman’s fertility, for which beauty and youth serve as helpful cues. Of course, sexism varies within each society, and a nation’s overall level of gender-equality doesn’t necessarily translate to gender-equal attitudes among individuals. However, research carried out in nine nations proves that the more gender-unequal men’s personal attitudes, the more they prefer qualities in women such as youth and attractiveness and the more gender-unequal women’s attitudes, the more they prefer qualities in men such as money and status. It seems then that empirical evidence suggests that the attitudes which evolutionary psychologists assign to our selfish genes, are rather a result of our biases, not of our genetic makeup.

Biological determinism sees organisms, human or nonhuman, as adapted by evolutionary processes to their environment, to maximize their reproductive success in the environment in which they are born and develop. A process of adaptation that is essential, if the organisms stand any chance of survival. But is this true? Is this process actually uni-dimensional? The survival of certain species does not only depend on their ability to adapt to their environment, but also, on their ability to adapt their environment to suit their needs. Consider a bird building a nest. It needs to collect straw, sticks or even small stones, and bind them together in a suitable form to make room for itself and the young ones that will need to live there in the initial stage of their development, before they are able to fly away and look for their own food. A bird doesn’t find nests lying around in its environment but rather adapts the environment to satisfy the need to protect itself and its offspring. Natural environments are in constant modification by the organisms that inhabit them. Similarly, human genes, ‘human nature’, is completely worthless when it comes to ultraviolet vision or sensitivity to electrical fields, yet being able to see in ultraviolet or detect electrical fields are common activities in our human societies.

It seems, that this reductionist view of ‘human nature’, is totally inaccurate when asked to describe human progress, yet it is the prime argument when the discussion is directed towards issues like inequality, war and hunger. It is perfectly common to admire human inventiveness and human reason when describing the evolution of habitat, from cave to self-powered skyscraper, yet it is equally common to protest that it is irrational to expect world peace, since it clearly goes against ‘human nature’. I agree it goes against human history, but it would be paradoxical to say the same for ‘human nature’. In fact, the only reason that we seem to evolve in certain areas of human experience, but completely fail to do so in others is as simple as it is self-evident. Politics.

Politics however is not part of ‘human nature’. It is not even part of nature. Politics is a human invention and as such, is liable to human will. If social organization, including the inequalities of status, wealth, and power, are a direct consequence of our biologies, then whatever law we pass, whatever revolution we produce, nothing will ever change, since our biological makeup would always find a way to nullify our efforts, to cancel our exercises of free-will. This of course begs the question why the centers of power, wealth and status, have always historically invested in politics to achieve their ends. If their power, wealth and status, is a result of their ‘natural’ place in society, evidence of their superiority to adapt over their proletarian inferiors, politics should for them be totally pointless. Unless it isn’t.

Those in power understand the necessity to use violence with discretion. If possible, opposition should be oppressed using organizational tools within their control. Ideally, those that can threaten their place should be pacified by their own free will, by their unwillingness to challenge the legitimacy of their rule. In few words, politics needs ideology. For if what exists is ‘natural’ and ‘right’, if people can be convinced that to oppose the known is to oppose nature itself, any struggle against this reality will be doomed to fail. Bourgeois society, like the aristocratic feudal society it replaced, is characterized by immense differences in status, wealth, and power. The fact that there has been growth in the economy over time, so that in every generation, children are better off than their parents, and that there have been great shifts in the labor force from a production to a service economy, serves merely to mask these differences. Every positive aspect of our societal evolution was produced by the force of change, not by the force of maintaining order.

Democracy and human rights are nowhere to be found in nature, yet they are the pinnacle of societal evolution. The natural state of man is the state from which homo sapiens has struggled to free himself off,  by creating an organized society. Nature has no concept of good, bad, fair or unfair and as a result it can be lethal and relentless to the weak that suffer it. A society that tries to imitate nature can never be a good or a just society, since it will produce the same unmerciful viciousness. Our achievements as species are owed to the victory of reason over nature’s indifference. The state, represents the societal institution which is tasked with the distribution of the surpluses of our collective labor. The level of fairness of this distribution, which will dictate the level of equality within a society, is determined by our ideas, not by our ‘nature’. Whether it will lean on protecting the right to life or on the will of the powerful to rule, is a conscious choice. So is the choice to subject to the reality that our forefathers have created or challenge it head on.

Every mutation that rearranged our DNA that brought one of our ancestors closer to being human, when it first occurred, must necessarily have been unique, and therefore abnormal. We are the direct descendants of millions of freaks. Not every freak is an improvement, but every improvement must first have been featured in a freak.

In light of evolution, natural law theory is bankrupt. It can give us no useful guidance as to what is good, fair, valuable or what goals to pursue. Respecting nature and taking steps to preserve it by mitigating the negative consequences of our civilization over it, is not the same as accepting that nature holds an ideal which we need to replicate. The new possibilities that lay ahead of us come from the choices we make, which define who we are, not the other way round. Because our values have arisen in a process of reasonable debate, not as consequences of our basic needs. Our common nature, if any, arises from choices that were enabled, but not determined, by biology. What biology teaches us about ‘human nature’ is that, in a very real sense, there is no such thing as ‘human nature’.

Advertisements

On Rationality, Justice & Beauty

When the world was still in its infancy, a ball of rock, fire and poisonous gasses, Rationality didn’t exist, Justice didn’t exist, but Beauty could still be found everywhere. In the lakes and rivers of lava spewing their clouds of sulfur and methane, on the black frozen rock, unformed, free from any definition. Beauty was there from the beginning.

Image result for volcanic earth

Then rain came. Water. The foundation of Life. Water nourished matter, molecules were energized by its power, they drew “breath” for the first time, they multiplied.

Still, there was no Justice, no Rationality, nothing could be defined and spoiled by narrowness of imagination or feeling. There was no Rationality in the raindrops, they just fell. There was no Justice in the formation of the first multi-cellular organism, specs of matter simply acted and reacted with each other, unknowing of their existence. It was energy, pure energy combining by primeval forces that had no meaning or clear purpose, it just was. Water didn’t chose who it benefited, or why. It fed all. It gave all, freely and without judgement.

Image result for first multicellular organismImage result for water brings life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justice came later, much later. Justice was a product or rational thought. It was an invention of early man, who realized that we were stronger together, stronger as a group. Justice was a tool for survival. People needed assurance that those who seek to divide the group, to interrupt their fragile union by thinking only of themselves and putting their personal needs and desires above those of the group, would be taught a lesson. They needed to know that their part, however small, in the survival of the group, would be equaled with a share of the spoils of their combined labor, that no one would be left out. Rationality paved the way for Justice and Justice made sure that the group would endure, that their unity would remain unbroken, that they would survive.

Seeing how valuable rational thought had been in the formation of the group, in setting the framework for organized societies to exist, for civilization to be born, man misunderstood its usefulness. The Wise Man thought that he can define everything with it, even Beauty. The necessity for definition confined it. What was once pure and unrestrained, was now carefully put into boxes of the mind. Slowly, the definition became narrower and narrower, setting rules, scales, measurements, reason, even imagination, as the arbitrary confines of Beauty. The definition of Beauty became more important than Beauty itself. To create the “artist”, the Wise Man ended up killing “Art” itself.

But Beauty was already there, unbound, abundant. An expression of the Sun’s energy into form, texture and color.

One would say “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. But were there no Beauty before the beholder? Is a Hura tree not beautiful without any explorer to observe it? This pompous idea that the Universe is bound to man’s consciousness is preposterous. Its more of a testament to man’s illusion of grandeur, than an absolute truth. No, Beauty was there way before man was ever able to perceive it. It was there when the primal forces exploded into space-time, it was there on the gas clouds of nebulas, on the formation of stars, on the flight of asteroids, it was there when the first plants fed from our sun and the sky turned blue. Beauty was already there before there was anyone to observe it. Beauty is not bound to the subjective, because the subjects are Beauty’s manifestations, its consequence. Beauty is not bound by the objective either, because Beauty cannot be defined, it has no structure, follows no rules, it pre-exists all and therefore cannot be either defined by mere subjective half-truths or by narrow objective descriptions, divisions and categorizations.

Image result for visible universe

Its clear that Beauty pre-exists the beholder. A beautiful painting IS still beautiful, before you see it subjectively. Because seeing “subjectively”, one uses experience and personality in order too define anything , which is an arbitrary way of “seeing” since it can only infer on preference, which in turn relates closer to the person, than the object he/she wishes to define. These preferences are created by past experiences, and everyone’s past experiences depend on geography, where one is, the historical period when the person is alive, when one is, and environmental factors throughout one’s life. One who is clueless of Art, in the sense that he has had no significant previous stimuli to artistic expression, might not see Beauty in a painting, but that says more about the person’s lack of experiences, than the painting itself.

Our idea of subjective reality stems from our inability to connect with each others experiences beyond what words can describe. Our inability to see from each others eyes. One can only view the world from his/her eyes, and the judgement of what he/she sees is defined by previous experience, therefore any other person who wishes to understand what another means by Beauty, is limited to his own experiences, unable to derive the same meaning or ideal of Beauty, thus creating his own different idea of what Beauty is, based on his experiences which differ entirely from any others. Then he comes to the false conclusion that Beauty is subjective. But that does not mean that Beauty is subjective, it is just proof of man’s inability to connect with his fellow men beyond language, beyond description of what he or she sees. His efforts to do so have led to the creation of Art, forms of expression beyond the limitations of words, but still unable to connect men at a level that surpasses their individuality and celebrates their oneness.

The gift of vision is not enough to define Reality, or Beauty for that matter, but without it it would be impossible to even try. For without vision, even Reality can come to be questioned.

Aesthetics and Beauty are not the same, and it is a mistake of the mind to think that one can be defined by the other. Vision works in a peculiar manner. The inverted images of one’s vision, that enter the brain through our eyes, creating bursts of electricity that go surging from one synapse to the next, awakening feelings which themselves are derived by experiences, cannot be limited by narrow definitions of Beauty. It is absurd. Feeling cannot be judged, it can be studied but not understood, not really, not in its entirety. Like water, its essence remains unique to the person who experiences it, its benefits also and everything feeds from it separately. One can describe it, but not share it, not really, not in its entirety.

Wise Plato said that “What is Reasonable is also Just”. In this way, Beauty is unfair, Unjust. For Beauty, does not follow Reason, or can be defined by it, it just is, and therefore, if Beauty cannot be reasoned, it can never be Just.

Image result for oneness

Our tools of the mind, the ones that helped us survive, thrive and strengthen our bonds, cannot be used to measure Infinity. Look around you, Beauty is everywhere, infinite, overwhelming. Maybe we are rushing too fast, maybe our minds are trapped in multitudes of thought, but once we are calm we can see it. When reasoning and our need to justify what we see in terms of quality fades, when we stop measuring, comparing and scaling what is all around us, we can see it unravel perfectly in its true form. What our eyes see bounces back as an intense feeling of longing, and belonging, of oneness and humbleness. Only then we realize, it was always there.

 

 

I’m trying to write damn it!

cc_man_writers_block-e1289171387633Write, they say. Write a story, a short story, a scene of a story, anything, as if writing is the easiest thing to do. I can tell you a few things about writing, but it being easy is not one of them. It’s hard to write. On the other hand, anything of essence is hard and it should be, otherwise there wouldn’t be any value to it, it would be cheap, unimportant, trivial. Some of you might argue that writing can also be all these things, that everything is in the context. You are right of course, it is. But that is exactly my point, writing something of value, something that someone somewhere might actually enjoy reading is a hard thing to do.

Writing is a process, it’s a mental exercise, it requires focus and skill and I am stuck with just wishful thinking. I have no talent as a writer, I have never been talented in anything really, as a kid I was always the second best in almost everything, or usually worse, but never the measure of excellence, never no.1, the guy that everyone congratulates in the end for being who they are, the guy who gets a pat on the back and a smile of acknowledgment and admiration. Writing is no different. I am not saying that I should be talented in order to write, but hell, it would sure make things a damn lot easier. See, we’re back where we started. Writing is hard. Somehow I just can’t help but wanting to do it. It’s a dialogue with one’s self, it’s a form of visualizing your thoughts, structuring them and correcting them, with punctuation. A way of letting your imagination roam, free to create beings, environments, whole worlds and universes, to go back in time or forward into the future, of criticizing, of reliving moments in time, a way of writers-blockunderstanding and sharing. But you have to write damn it, otherwise everything just stays in your head, one on top of the other, creating a pile of thoughts and experience and imagination, messy, dark and overcrowded. You have to release the pressure. Think of writing as creative trepanning.

Oh, how I wish I could fill these pages with characters and plot, let my imagination run amok and just explode in a literary orgy, my fingers on fire over the keyboard, each stroke rubbing off the letters on the keys, each sentence straining the machine to follow the flow of words and meaning. Yet, all I can do is write about how I can’t write. Weird, huh? Welcome to my world. Now back to accounting, there’s a good chap!

The irrationality of Murder and the power of Belief

20131224-014320.jpgThe universe does not deal in absolutes. Its own inflation defies limitations. Its own self creating expansion breaks the boundaries of the known. Man on the other hand is a finite being, his existence can be measured, studied, evaluated and judged by the logic of the present. Man cannot comprehend infinity, so he deals in absolutes. His own shortcoming creates paradoxes his mind cannot explain.

Take for example the value of a human life, take out all societal attributes such as status, class, income, profession, gender or race. Even if anyone thinks of himself stripped bear of all definitions of social classification, he is still invaluable to himself. Nothing can hold greater value than the value of being alive, since man cannot comprehend void. void means infinity reversed, an inconceivable notion. If so, man is invaluable to himself. If man is invaluable to himself, then murder, direct or indirect, becomes irrational.

The rationality of any man committing murder or justifying murder to be committed on his behalf, is in the acceptance that his life holds greater value than the ones being murdered. If one accepts this premise, he must also accept the premise that his life may hold less value than someone else’s who believes himself more valuable than him, since only then would his rationality be logical. Ultimately, a man committing murder or justifying murder, also justifies his own murder by someone else. This creates a paradox since we have already agreed than every mans life is invaluable, even if it is invaluable only to one’s self.

Some may argue that this proves that life is sacred and deem murder as a sacrilegious act. Although arguably the instinct of survival or self preservation is innate, it holds no sanctity, for that would attribute the supernatural in all life. Be it that life is a natural biological causality, any belief of life’s sanctity is irrational and presupposes a deity of some sort. Therefore, since the existence of all deities is based on pure belief rather than facts and irrefutable evidence, regardless of the fact that sanctity also irrationalizes murder, it falls sort in its self justification and thus can be disregarded as insignificant.

imageEven a nihilist cannot justify murder, because if he is truly a nihilist, first he must justify suicide. And since after suicide, all action stops, murder is insignificant. Suicide is the ultimate form of denial, nothing is important and everything is permitted. If one denies the premise of value in life, then life becomes obsolete, and since all reality is presented by ones own mind, the conclusion that nothing is important and everything equals null, must be followed by an act of suicide. Otherwise, the nihilist creates an existential paradox which defies his own rationality and irrationalizes this ultimate act of denial.

In all forms of life, killing may be justified. Life and death are naturally linked and in all forms of life, ones survival may very well be dependent on another’s death. Killing is therefore a causality of life and cannot be irrational. But one must not be confused. It is an easy misconnection to make, justifying murder in the form of action for self preservation, yet there is no proof in nature of any life form which has survived by killing its own kind. None other has been so efficient or so prolific in that respect as man, despite his superior intellect which easily argues to the opposite.

imageGod or no god, nihilist or not, murder is therefore an act of defiance of the laws of reason and it cannot be justified in any rational context.

So how has murder become the defining factor of civilization? How has this unnatural irrationality crept so efficiently in our existence?

the answer lies in belief.

(to be continued)

And justice for all…

Ensuring-Justice-for-Victims-and-discreditIs it possible to achieve justice in a modern society?

Apparently not.

It seems that today, more evidently than ever before, we have become witness through our multimedia channels of information, to a great deal of injustice, to which we simply reply with living our lives as if nothing happened, as if it’s the norm. It is purely understandable, I mean who are we to deal with all the injustice that surrounds us? Are we the police? Are we lawyers or judges? Are we the government?

I know that you all smirked while reading that last sentence. I know because I was smirking as I wrote it. But it is true. The institutions we have built to safeguard justice in our society, have become the pillars of the status-quo of our complete lack of it.

So why do we strive to be just? Why is it considered a moral obligation for everyone to be fair and morally conscious? Why, if our everyday experience of life in a modern society has made it abundantly clear that it wants nothing to do with justice, do we consider it so damn important?

One logical explanation would be because we are afraid. We are afraid that if we are not just, we will be accused, if we are not fair, we will be slandered, if we are not morally conscious, we will be cast out of our otherwise corrupt society. Some may even fear “God”. But if we think about it a bit longer, we stumble into a paradox. Since our societies tolerate injustice and, all things considered, nurture it, then why should we be afraid of being unjust? Now hold that thought.

social-justice.312132658_stdWe have filled whole libraries with textbooks of law, we have state law, some have federal law, we have European law, international law, naval law, tax law, civil law, we have tribunals, investigative committees, courts of every kind…yet we have no justice. But these things are only symbols of justice. They are simply a wish of a principle that should be. A prayer made out of passion for what is ideal, for what is right, a prayer made out of fear of what our world would be like, if we didn’t even try.

Most people in our modern societies are workers, day to day laborers, employees, people next door. Most of them go about their day, making a living, and dreaming of another one, somewhere else. Most of us are too busy with our own survival and well-being and our dreams of a better future in that fancy part of town, that we do not bother with such questions. We fail to see the irony of it all since we are too busy complying, too busy pressing “Agree”, too busy ignoring everything that might pose a threat to that dream that will never come.

We know that there is no fairness in this world, we know that justice is just a dream. The rich are getting richer and the poor continue to be poor, if not poorer. We stand powerless from all the lies and all the failed promises and we become numb inside. Our humanity, our sense of morality and our inner cry for justice dies a little each day as we see ourselves as victims of society, of a situation that we did not cause, so no one can blame us for it. We see ourselves as victims and we become victims. We doubt ourselves, we doubt our beliefs and we doubt if there is even such a thing as justice in the first place. We accept injustice and in many cases we enforce it, without mercy, as long as there is someone else who is willing to accept responsibility, an authority willing to justify us, willing to let it all go away.

Justice_380I believe that we have been led astray. Save me from all the law books, the religious laws, the courts, the lawyers, the judges and the priests. We all know what is right, deep down we all do. Even if we don’t do it, we know when we are being unfair or unjust. We have it inside us, in all of us, a moral compass that shows us where true justice lies in our every deed, in our every thought. We only need to follow it. That is how we achieve justice in a modern society. For you can build as many courtrooms, law schools, libraries of law, but in the end all you have left is bricks and pages, not a just society.

All you need to have a society is people, which is all you are ever going to need. And if a society is judged by the moral backbone of its people, then all you need to have in order to make that society just, is enough people that are willing to follow their true north.

The Revolution will be televised.

the-revolution-will-not-be-televised The Revolution will most definitely be televised.

Every action has an equal opposite reaction. It seems strange that the third law of Newton applies to the entirety of the known Universe, yet for all its powerful significance, crumbles in the face of our newly formed human societies.

Regardless of the level of science we use everyday to interpret our reality, both mathematics and physics seem to be weak when it comes to the complexity and chaos of our societies and the connections between cause and effect. Yes, the Revolution will be televised, and the proprietary rights will be owned, most probably, by a large American TV network, with millions of viewers but without any script.

If we take into account that we are at a moment in time which is determined by the sum of everything that has ever happened in human history so far, then we are exactly where we are supposed to be. 1+1=2. It cannot equal anything else. We may hope that it equals 3, we may dream that if 1 was 5 it would equal 10, we may firmly believe that in all fairness 1 should be 5, but the simple fact of the matter is that it doesn’t. 1+1=2, period. It pains me to admit it, but reason suggests that as a species, we are at the peak of our history and nothing that has happened could result into anything else.

Every social struggle, every Revolution, every fight against oppression and injustice, has been the result of a power struggle between interests of one group of people that has the authority and interests of another group of people which opposes their authority. Regardless of who is right or who is wrong, regardless of who won, the fact of the matter is than when the tables turned and authority switched hands, the result was always the same, hence the term Revolution (rotation). The Marxist theory suggests that Revolution is “the violent and historically necessary transition from one system of production in a society to the next”. Even so, even if history requires it, the fact of the matter is that this rotation of systems has ended up in the world as it is today, good, bad, ugly or beautiful, this is what we’ve come to. Every such exchange of power has been influenced by the pursuit of a certain group of people to attain what the few possessed. The motives may vary amongst the individuals that take part in it, some may do it for justice, some for survival, some for glory, money or fame, but motive can only describe the reason behind it, yet that is not the issue here. The real issue that has not been addressed so far by the people who strive towards change, is whether change will equal improvement or it would just be another rotation of power with a sum of 0 for the future generations that will follow. It is not enough to overthrow the oppressive rulers anymore, there needs to be a plan, a vision, even if utopia is unreachable, striving for it seems to hold much more promise than the distopia of our times.

Another question that also needs answering is whether such a change is even feasible in the world today. If we stop to contemplate the level of control that the state holds against its people, and the level of control that the business world has acquired against the states that control those people, then any resistance is simply futile. The main reason for its futility is not simply the size and power of the force that opposes change, but also the motives that drive the opposing force to clash with authority. If the motives are oriented towards our own petty self interests, then the Revolution will result in a rotation, whilst if the motives stem from our inner sense of justice, societal evolution and the improvement of human life as we know it, then the Revolution will be powerful enough not only to rotate the wheel, but break it. Anything less will not be enough, anything less will taste like warmed up yesterdays pasta. When your aim is nothing less than a 3 Michelin restaurant, warmed up food just doesn’t cut it.

The reality is frightening, it’s scary when you realize the magnitude of viciousness, brutality and border cannibalism in which descent, well educated, well fed people terrorize any attempt at something different. Their reflexes, as sharp as razors, either to destroy any hope for change or, worst of all, to absorb it, making it cheap, commercial and profitable. Philosophers and thinkers keep silent, distant, buried in their books, tired and withered by being ignored they keep to themselves, muted in the laughter of loud superstars and pompous technocrats.

We are exactly where we ought to be, the past has defined our present and the future has not yet come. It’s always the present, every single moment, the present, persistent and expectful it waits for no man. The Revolution will not come, change will not be given to us in a silver platter, nothing is safe anymore and reality teaches us that the road is long and hard. If ever the world takes its next evolutionary step in the pursuit for happiness, we will not be here to marvel it. Lets face it, as much as we hope for a better world, our generation is lost, and many more generations after our own. But. Yes, there is always a but. If we don’t focus our energy at revolutionizing our minds and the way we behave towards each other and towards our environment, it’s dead sure that the next Revolution is already lost, we will have already killed it, tens, hundreds years before it even started. If we don’t realize how valuable our understanding of the necessity for change really is, then make no mistake, the Revolution will be televised.

Press: The blinkers of reality

reading-the-newsHundreds of millions of words every day. Newspapers, news channels, blogs, radio shows, newsletters, newscasts…a multitude of media daily working to inform us of the state of our world, the reality of the world, at any given  moment. On the whole, having the luxury of information in such an extent, has never been more common. Knowledge is no longer a purpose, information and the linkage of those information has become a tradable commodity, and the famous quote that read “knowledge is power”, has now transformed to “information is money…and power”.

Let us stop for a second. Let us analyze a bit the form of information that the news industry is so desperately trying to channel to the people, some would argue that it is a frivolous task, but our reality of the world is based on it.

What is news? How can something become newsworthy? Is the fact that John, a construction worker from Manchester, hasn’t had any accident in the past 35 years of his work, worthy of becoming news? The answer is simple, no. But why? Think about it…it is much more common for people not to have accidents than to have one, yet, turn on your TV to any channel, browse through your newspaper, and I am sure that you will find no mention of the simple fact that John is still safe from harm for the last 35 years. Not having an accident is unbelievably more common than having one, so in essence, our reality should be that we’re actually doing great, pretty healthy and all. But its not newsworthy. News editors cannot simply start writing about the jewelry that were not stolen, or the famous marriages that still survive divorce, or celebrate the fact that there’s much more peace, than there is war, or that John has finally retired, accident free. However concerned our noble news correspondents are in their efforts to describe the state of things in the world today, they are only concerned with the minority.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that things are good. Things are not good. Things are pretty far from being good in the world today. But our perception of the world, is based on the information we gather about its current state, our reality is based on this perception…and this reality is wearing blinkers.